The PC-8001 was one of Japan's first full-fledged personal computer systems, preceded only by the Hitachi BASIC Master. Although primitive, the PC-8001 launched at a competitive price and paved the way for NEC's eventual dominance of the Japanese PC industry in the 1980s and 1990s.
There were three major models:
The original PC-8001 was also sold in the US as the PC-8001A, and in Europe as the PC-8001B.
Each model had its own version of BASIC baked into internal ROM.
- N BASIC (PC-8001), corresponds to N80.rom.
- N80 BASIC (PC-8001mkII), corresponds to N80_2.rom. This is an expanded version of N-BASIC with extra commands. N80 BASIC is mostly compatible with N-BASIC programs, but the mkII can also run in a native N-BASIC mode.
- N80SR BASIC (PC-8001mkIISR), corresponds to N80_3.rom. Another expanded version with extra graphics and sound support for the mkIISR. The mkIISR can also run in N-BASIC and N80 BASIC modes (with limited compatibility) by changing the dipswitches.
There are also Disk BASIC versions of the above, which run off a floppy disk rather than internal ROM. Disk BASIC supports a few extra disk-related commands, such as MOUNT/REMOVE.
3rd party hardware: PCG-8100 (Programmable Character Generator)
An expansion board developed by HAL Labs that enabled more advanced graphics and sound. Several games have special PCG variants.
The PCG board should be disabled unless a game needs it.
=== Running software ===
For most BASIC programs on tape, simply use the CLOAD command with the program name (case-sensitive).
CLOAD"GameName"<--load BASIC program from cassette tape (GameName is case-sensitive!)
RUN (or F5)<--Run program
Some games are written in machine code.
MON<--Enter machine code monitor
L<--Load available machine code
Gxxxx<--Execute at hex address xxxx. You need to know the execution address in advance.
Some games are written using a combination of machine code and BASIC.
CLOAD"GameName"<-- load BASIC program
MON<--enter machine monitor
L<--load machine code
<--Return to BASIC
Loading a game from Disk BASIC:
Boot computer from a Disk BASIC floppy.
Insert the program disk into drive 1 (or 2), and type
MOUNT 1 (or MOUNT 2)
FILES 1 (or 2)<--lists files on disk (if necessary)
If you get an out of memory error, try the command CLEAR 100,&HB7FF and then load the program again.